How to Write Poetry?
Creative Writing is a very personal pastime and although it can be learnt, the flow and style of the piece will be uniquely representative of the author, like a finger print. Do not try to please everyone with your content or flourish as artistic mediums are always going to be bound by opinion and taste and certainly do not try to replicate another’s work as writing is something that seeps out from within, like breaking a dam on your emotions and letting the water just flow until maybe someday you create a lake that many find repose at.
The easiest way to begin is through self-reflection. Think about a memory that has survived the passage of time and jot down the key points of that memory and go into detail, think about the texture and feel of the tableau, the smells, sounds and visual aspects that create it. Then break the memory down into baby steps:~ Where are you? Why are you there? How do you feel? What happens? Why is this memory important? Don’t worry about rhyming or scansion and meter yet, this is just to get the muses flowing.
A good idea is ‘free writing’, literally just let words flow from your hand in a stream of consciousness for say five minutes without stopping or worrying, checking spelling, just write and then re-read what you’ve written and circle or highlight key phrases or descriptions that you personally find powerful, then you can build around these.
Decide what you are going to cover in each set of four lines, how much of the story you will reveal. Make bullet points of three or four key content inclusions and then write a short sentence for each. Now take each sentence in turn and look at what you’ve left out. Think of a simple adjective to describe your objects and surroundings and then check in a thesaurus to find a better, more poetic term. Now comes editing, you have to cut down your sentences. Be drastic and concise, no filler, just quality writing and points that need to be explained to the reader so that they understand your piece.
Now, if you want to, you can think about rhyming. Often it’s a matter of just changing around the word order so that your sentence ends with a common assonance, like ~ound or ~all or ~orn. If you’re going to try to rhyme more complicated words, be careful not to emphasis them and make them clumsy and obvious. Always use such words in the middle of a verse and not the end.
A good online resource is rhymezone dot com and once you’re happy with your progress join writing forums for inspiration and to develop and grow. One such forum is called strictly Shakespeare dot com and is a creative writing community and challenge, competition site that provides critique, cash prizes and free online newsletters for help and advice as well as being populated with a friendly bunch of folk how would love to chat and help.
Join strictly Shakespeare dot com today and they even sometimes make videos of your poems with professional voiceovers. Some can be found on Youtube. Each month a new prompt or theme is given to stir the muses and force you out of your comfort zone to stimulate new skills. You can read the previous winning entries online and maybe soon join them.
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